Inspiration | Clayton Austin... his story.

So Clayton Austin is a photographer who's blog and work (see below) I love.  I decided today to look at his website bio and see who exactly this guy is.  And boy, did I love his bio.  The way this man expresses himself through his words and photography is something close to poetry.  Just reading his bio made me want to make connections with people and find those sweet little moments in life.  Sigh.  I love photography.  Here is his story below.

Lets face it. Love is an animal. Though my grandfather told me once that love is more like a bird, if you hold it tightly it dies, if you hold it slightly, it flies. People often ask me how I capture such intimacy in the couples I have the honor of photographing. The key is looking from a different perspective. I don’t see them as who they are that day, happy and carefree. I see them as they will be tomorrow. I see them in the road ahead, in both the good times and the bad and all that they will endure. Together. Some days there will be love made on the kitchen floor, and others there will be sleepless nights on the couch. I have known both.

I received a letter once from an old friend. She mentioned that she recently had her heart broke and could only wish to one day find someone that sees her the way that my couples see each other. How would she know when she has found the “one”? Trust me when I say that tender gaze, that almost kiss, does not come without work. There will be joy, there will be pain. I have known both. If you are reading this I want you to know that you are amazing. He is not. And this is my advice to you. Find a boy who calls you beautiful instead of hot. Who calls you back when you hang up on him. Who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep. Wait for the boy who kisses your forehead. Who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats. Who holds your hand in front of his friends. Who thinks you’re just as pretty without makeup on. You will know he is the one because he will apologize first even if he feels he was in the right, because being right won’t matter if you go to bed angry. When you tell a joke he will laugh out loud. He will constantly be reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky his is to have found you. He will turn to his friends and say, ‘that’s her.’

This is the bird that my grandfather spoke of. When you find this bird hold onto it but remember to give it room to grow. Room to breathe. Do this together. And when you find him, call me. I want to photograph it.

My name is Clayton Austin. I am just a man and I tend to see things better with my eyes closed.

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I love it. And unless you don't have a heart, I think you love it, too.

Day 034: An Unending Love

I will take this opportunity to be more personal than I have ever been in this blog, in order to share a painful story that continues to encourage me.  

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.  God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.  Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.  We love Him because He first loved us.  I John 4: 16-19

Nearly a year ago, my heart was broken.  Although I refused to admit it, it continued to break for the following seven months.  In my prayer life I would ask for wisdom and an ability to submit to God's will for my life.  That was my constant prayer.  Tonight in my devotions as I read through the passage above, I feel blessed to be able to find comfort in God's own infinite wisdom and timing.  When I was in that relationship, I failed to love the way God intended.  I was not bold or fearless.  I am amazed that love exists without fear... that's what I was missing when my heart was breaking.  I was living in fear.  Fear of being unloved.  Fear of being unappreciated.  Fear of losing myself.  Fear of messing up.  I did feel tormented.  I felt like I was sinking, but the Lord saved me from that relationship.  Now, I am reminded that in love there are no insecurities or lack of trust or miscommunication.  A relationship founded on the love the Lord gives us is filled with BOLDNESS.  Boldness to do what is right.  Boldness to abandon a toxic relationship and throw myself blindly into God's comforting hands.  

Since that time, I live with a freedom that only God can give. As I continue to focus on Him, I am continually encouraged by His Word. I am confident that one day the Lord will provide me with an edifying relationship built on the same love mentioned in I John.  And who knows. I may have already met that man. :)  For now I cherish the overflowing love that God has filled my heart with.  

God is good.  All the time.

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